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Warrack resident tests aerospace technology

AN EXPERIMENTAL satellite launch this Saturday morning will test the practicality of future commercial and research space and aviation ventures.
The Faraday-1 launch, undertaken by UK aerospace company In-Space Missions, will test a satellite optical sensor and beacon system designed and assembled by Warracknabeal resident and electronics engineer Andrew Bish.
Having worked previously on satellite payload systems with Australian National University, Mr Bish said that one purpose of this weekend’s launch was to investigate the use of a high-powered laser system which would change the velocity of low-orbit satellites.
“The plan is that (the satellite) will fly over Canberra where a 10 kilowatt laser is based. It will investigate using high-powered lasers to change the orbit of satellites so that they can avoid space-junk,” he said.
High-velocity collisions between satellites and other objects are a problem which Mr Bish said could be solved by his optical system design.
Although the launch was initially planned for mid-2019, the launch had to be delayed which Mr Bish said prevented him and his family from watching the launch live.
“I had promised to go to New Zealand for the launch this time with my family but I can’t go now because of the lockdown,” he said.
Uncertain about Saturday’s launch, Mr Bish said that the intent of the project was to look at commercial and research opportunities in the public and private sectors, including optical video imaging, real-time videos, and communication.
The project is in partnership with the Australian Government’s Space Environment Research Centre, Rocket Labs, a small satellite launch company, and In-Space Missions.
The launch will be at 7:10am on July 4 and broadcast online from www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream

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